Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saint Synesios of Karpasia

St. Synesios of Karpasia (Feast Day - May 26)


Synesios, grant me divine prudence,
That I may sing hymns to you as a liturgist of the Lord.

Saint Synesi╬┐s (or Synesius) is the patron saint of the occupied village of Rizokarpaso and is regarded as the protector of the Karpas Peninsula (Karpasia). Unfortunately we have very little information about this Cypriot Saint, but what we know comes from a monk named Akakios.

Synesios was born in the ancient city of Karpasia and succeeded Saint Philon (Jan. 24), who was the first bishop of Karpasia, on the episcopal throne of Karpasia. He was a meek man without guile, who confronted the numerous heresies of his time with zeal to protect his flock from the ravaging wolves, and made sure that the Orthodox faith was established. His gentleness, the sweetness of his words and convincing arguments were reinforced by his numerous miracles. In this way, the enemies of the Church who sought to tear apart the seamless tunic of the Lord among the faithful of Cyprus, rediscovered the true Gospel message of salvation and the correct path of the Christian faith.

After the repose of the Saint, he did not cease to grant healings and miracles to those who ran to him with faith. Numerous miracles are reported that were performed through his intercessions, most notably with those who suffer from dysuria.

In the village of Rizokarpaso there is a church dedicated to Saint Synesios, dating from the twelfth century. The church was built next to a cave known as the "Cave of Saint Synesios," where the Saint lived a life of ascetic toil. The Church of Saint Synesios is located in the central square of the village and is one of the only three Orthodox churches in the occupied territories of Cyprus that are still functioning and have not been pillaged, destroyed or turned into museums or mosques by the Turks, for the simple reason that a few hundred Greek Cypriots still live in Rizokarpaso.

The memory of Saint Synesios is celebrated on May 26, however the big feast of Saint Synesios used to take place during the week of Easter, where crowds of people used to come to Rizokarpaso in order to pay their respects to the Saint and do their shopping.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
The boast of Karpasia and the ornament of Cyprus, you showed yourself to be a wonderworker, our Hierarch Father Synesios; for through your heavenly miracles you showed, blessed one, that you heal the sick, and the souls of those who run to you with faith. Glory to Him who gave you strength, Glory to Him who crowned you, Glory to Him who works through you healings for all.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As an invincible champion and fervent support, the faithful flee to you, Father Synesios, redeeming them from sorrows and dangers; but as one having boldness towards the Lord, save us all from disasters that we may cry out: Rejoice Father Synesios.

Below is a video of the Cave of Saint Synesios

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